Thursday, April 30, 2009

Body Odor

I'm not a terribly sweaty person, but this Arizona heat tends to bring out the worst in my apocrine sweat glands. In short, I have begun to stink. As we were getting in the car to go to church, I realized I didn't put on deodorant, so Tyler ran back in the house and got it for me.

And that's where it's stayed since Sunday, in the car that Tyler takes to work. So, I've been using Tyler's Old Spice. I smell very masculine.

Here's the question, though: why is it all shriveled up? It Tyler just not smelly enough to have need to use it very often, so it's just really old? Or, is this a byproduct of Arizona and a portent of what is going to happen to the skin on my face?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Biking Pictures

Tyler's bike ride with The Rock

Maybe the reason they don't take me is because I would have peed my pants if I had to do this. I mean, I'm all for safety second, but I can't turn off my prefrontal cortex that tells me I'm going to miss and land face first on that rock. I start picturing headlines: "Mother of Two Smashes Face Doing Something Stupid."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Take a picture of...

My teeth,

My chin,

My eyes,

My nose,

My fingers,

My tongue,

My belly button,

My lips (or 'my wips' as she says)

and... the computer.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friends, naps, and a battle of wits

Our friends Laura and and her husband The Rock came into town. The Rock took Tyler mountain biking up in Oro Valley and Laura came over to our house and... slept. As we were talking and chatting and Lillian was showing off all of her tricks, including singing the happy face song (If you chance to meet a frown, do not let it stay...) Laura's eyes were droopy and I could tell she was fighting to stay awake. I offered the use of our spare bed and insisted she take a nap. About when she woke up, Lillian was fighting with her poop (more on this later) so we couldn't leave to go do anything.

Her visit didn't end up being terribly exciting, but I'm always glad to help people catch up on sleep.

The Poop

You knew it was coming. Potty training. I've heard tales that potty training is awful and hard and messy and gross. Messy and gross, I can handle. No problem. But, I think I'm getting more than my fair share of awful and hard. Lillian is, to put it lightly, very resistant to potty training and I'm tired of waiting for her to come around. Well, I don't think she ever will come around, she's a stubborn one. Last week, I set out to break her.

Five thousand tantrums later, we're doing pretty well. No accidents yesterday and she even pooped in the potty, which has been one of the major sticking points because she hates Hates HATES pooping anyway. Really, the only way it happened was she told me she had to go and I made her (read: physically forced her) to sit on the potty until she went. It took about an hour. One hour of screaming and crying and ultimatums and saying "Lillian!" in that threatening Mom voice that I didn't know I had until I had children.

Speaking of that, I got a new calling as Primary Singtime Leader in which I teach songs to children 3 to 11 years old for two half-hour segments ever Sunday. My Mom and my sister have both held this calling quite successfully, so I felt like it was in my blood. Turns out, it is. Yesterday, I had all the kids (of which there are over 50) held in rapt attention while we learned "The Dearest Names" in sign language for them to sing on Mothers' day. It's times like this where I feel like my transformation into my mother is nearing completion, and as I get older, I realize that this is not necessarily a bad thing at all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cheese grater of death

Google has failed me.

Tonight when I was doing the dishes, I cut myself on the iron maiden side of the box grater. You know what I'm talking about. There's the regular cheese grater side, the cheese slicer side, the little grater side, and the side of death. I've cut myself on that side at least 12 times in my life.

I wanted to know what the heck that side is even for, so I Googled. And, I've got nothing. Well, I learned that it's called a coarse grater, but I have no idea what you would grate on that sucker, or how the heck you'd clean it after doing said coarse grating.

Anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Krissie asked me if ions from the sun were refracting off Nora, or something. I wish. I had been calling her Nora Sue, but that might prove confusing later. Not that Noraborealis will be any more clear.

While there's no ions from the sun around here, I don't think, there are a lot of ions to spare.

I shock myself at least 500 times a day.

Monday, April 20, 2009


When Mom was here, Nora was extra fussy and she said, "Obviously, you're not feeding her enough." We had our 4-month visit today, and I think her assessment is false.

Wt: 17 lbs, 3 oz (99th percentile)
Length: 26.6 in (99th percentile)
Head size: 16.5 in (70th percentile)

Mom's solution to Nora's fussiness: solid foods. Here's Nora's introduction to solids. She was perplexed, at best. By the end, Mom was putting the food in her mouth and then forcing her head back in hopes that the food would just slide down her throat.

The doctor said she looks great except for the fact that she can't roll from her front to her back. I think she just got too big too fast and her muscles just couldn't keep up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Colossal Caves

While the cousins were here, we headed over to Colossal Caves in Vail. These caves are 'dead,' as in, no new formations are being formed, so you can take pictures inside.

We were on a tour, so I couldn't ever sit in one spot long enough to get set up to take any good pictures. This one turned out pretty ok, probably because I used young Brandon's head as my tripod. It's a picture of the resident witch and her cat. The cat is the shadow on the bottom, easy enough to spot. The witch's nose is long and pointy on the top left. Here eye is just to the right of the shadow and her mouth is just above the cat's ears. See it?

And, ta da! My mom came too! I bet you're starting to feel silly for not coming too, because anyone who is anyone was at our house last week.

The following series of pictures illustrates how frustrating Lillian's whimsical nature can be. Hey kids, get together for a picture. Where's Lillian? Over on the telescopes. Lillian! LILLIAN!! Grandma, can you help?

Lillian is crying for her precious telescope. So much for me trying to feed her curiosity about what those big metal things were.

Telescopes forgotten, she's moved on to this mysterious wooden box thing. What is this? Tonya's children are starting to lose interest in the picture.

Ah, there we go. Sort of.

This picture captures Lillian, I think. Always on the go, always interested in something else.

Those kids thought this metal food sign was fascinating.

Here's a flower grandma.

Cousin Visit

Tyler's Mom and sister and her 5 kids came to stay with us for a few days last week. Lillian loved it. LOVED it. She was just in pie heaven with all those kids to play with and always something to be in the thick of.

This picture, although slightly unflattering to my sister-in-law (sorry), shows how incredibly hilarious Tonya thought Lillian's little face in the middle of all those kids was.

I baked a lot with those kids here. For Tonya's birthday, I made an angel food cake from scratch. Angel food cake has whipped egg whites in it, and you have to whip them twice, so the stand mixer was going for at least 30 minutes. All the other adults thought I was making a cake from a box, so they had no idea what the heck I was doing and secretly thought I had gone a little crazy. Wouldn't be the first time.

Mmmmmm. Angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. Maybe I'll make another one just for me, and I guess Lillian can have some too.

You can barely see those kids hanging on the fence, this is the best I could do in a jiffy with no tripod. Maybe because we got out of the city, but I'm really starting to see the beauty of Arizona. When we first got here, I hated it (July is really not Tucson's best month, perhaps its worst, actually) and I didn't really see the countryside as pretty either. I agreed with the Arizona axiom: If you pet it, it will bite you. If you touch it, it will sting you. And, if you eat it, it will kill you. But, it's really growing on me. See if I still like it come summertime, though. Then we'll see.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I wanna reach out and grab ya

I don't remember where I read this, but back in the way back time, people thought that the word ABRACADABRA held healing powers and one of the most popular cures was to write one letter of the word every day and by the time you got to the end, you'd be healed. Maybe I heard this in nursing school, but most diseases with a low mortality rate, like strep throat or chicken pox, last from 5-10 days without treatment. The ABRACADABRA cure even gives you an extra day's leeway.

Do I feel better because the new antibiotic they put me on worked?

Do I feel better because the old antibiotic just took a minute to work?

Or, do I feel better because I've reached ABRACADA?

Whatever is it, I'll take it.

I did have a Big Mama moment yesterday. In the post, Big Mama gets back from a trip and finds her house a mess and resolves then and there to fire her maid. I had this moment too, except I was coming out of the haze of sickness. She says:

And then I remembered that I am the maid.

I wish I could fire myself, but I don’t know if I could find anyone else who would be willing to clean my house in return for a cold Diet Coke and all the change they can find in the couch cushions or the pockets of [my husband]’s jeans.

I'm sure we've all felt this way at one time or another.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

That song is too sad Mom

Lillian often asks me to sing her a song. Last night, I sang, for whatever reason, "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. She started on my lap but after a few bars, she crawled off and sat just in front of me so she could look at my face. As the song progressed, her face got sadder and sadder. Then, right at the end, she burst into tears. Big, ugly, uncontrollable tears. She dragged herself onto my lap, buried her face into my shoulder, and between sobs, she said, "That song was too sad, mom."

Sicker than I've ever been ever.

Everyone has been asking after me, so I thought I'd let you all know that I feel terrible. I'm sick. Very sick. My throat has all but closed off, making it very painful to swallow. I've been really trying to force myself to drink fluids, what with the breastfeeding and the inordinate amounts of sweating I've been doing, but it's come to the point where I would rather drool than swallow, so I think I'm getting dehydrated on top of everything else. Just sitting here, typing this, my pulse is at 116 bpm.

The antibiotics they gave me don't seem to be working, which means it's a virus and that I'll have to just wait it out. Tyler is anxious to get back to work which makes me feel bad, but there's nothing else I can do.

I called the nurse hotline to ask a question about taking Tylenol.

Me: (Explains whole situation) So, it's the fever that's going to help kill of the virus, so should I be taking Tylenol to control my temperature?
RN: We consider a temp of less than 102 safe.
Me: So I shouldn't take Tylenol unless my temp goes over 102?
RN: Right. What bothers you most?
Me: My throat really. It is beyond painful to swallow.
RN: You should take some Tylenol for that.
Me: Won't that bring my temperature down?
RN: Yes... why is that a problem?

When I went to Urgent Care, the MD offered to prescribe me something stronger than Tylenol to deal with the pain. I said I had stuff left over from my delivery. This morning was the first time I took them.

I even told Tyler whom he is and whom he is not allowed to marry in the event of my passing, I feel that bad.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hot Potato Mouth

I moved back home for about six months when I was 19. During this time, I worked two jobs: one at High Valley Construction, answering phones, and one at Blockbuster. My sister Amy was my boss at HVC and one day, thought I looked a little peaky and sent me home early so I could sleep for a little bit before working my night shift at the video store. I showed up to job number two and my whole body ached, this was a Thursday. Friday morning, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My skin hurt, I had a fever, sore throat, and I had the shakes. I waited (and cried) for my mom to finish teaching her piano lessons that afternoon so she could take me to Urgent Care. We were greeted by a 3-hour wait during which time I shouted obcenities at some small children who were making too much noise in the waiting room. Upon admittance, I pulled down my pants and told them to give me "the shot." I don't think I was quite myself. The next day, I went to fill my prescription and for some reason, the pharmacist showed me the antibiotics that I would have to swallow, and I burst into tears right there at the counter. He didn't speak very good English and had no idea how to comfort me. As he awkwardly laid his hand on my shoulder, I told him I wanted my plant.

See, my mother had 7 children and would accomplish all that grocery shopping by filling up a cart and leaving it at the front of the store while she filled her second cart. One particularly trying day, she left her full cart at the front and when she returned with the second, she found that some helpful clerk had put away all of her hard-fought groceries. She burst into tears and the store manager felt so bad that he gave her a houseplant.

I wanted a plant too. Such is strep throat.

Then, a few years later, one month after I got married, I got strep throat again. We were poor and didn't want to pay to have my throat cultured because I was pretty sure I knew exactly what I had. The doctor said he thought it was strep too because people who have strep throat talk like they have a hot potato in their mouth.

This morning, I woke up with a hot potato mouth. Beware of strep throat all ye that enter here. My Mother's helpful words of advice as she left to go back to California: don't breathe on your children.

(She did say other helpful motherly things, but I just thought this one was the funniest.)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

My Mother-in-law and sister-in-law, and 2 nieces and 3 nephews just left from paying us a 4-day visit. Here's some funny things those kids said:

We visited Colossal Caves. Our tour guide warned us that there was some low-hanging formations and that anyone over 5'7" will have to crouch down.
My mom (who is also here (party at my house)):Well, I don't have to worry about that. (She's 5'1" or 2")
Maddy: Me neither, I'm six years old.

After dinner, a couple people pitched in and helped.
Grandma Ball: Well, that went fast with all those people helping.
Me: Well, like my mom always says, 'many hands make light work.'
Ty (age 8, I think): Yeah, well, many hands also make a lot of messes.

Maddy: Aunt Amanda, what are you going to be when you grow up?
Me: I don't know Maddy, what do you think I should be?
Maddy: A nurse maybe. I'm going to be a pizza chef and no one will change my mind.
later that night
Maddy: When I grow up I'm going to live in Washington D.C. and be a secretary.
Me: Oh, a secretary of what? Defense? Transportation? Education?
Maddy: Um.... Elevators. Yeah, Secretary of Elevators.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

How Nora broke my heart

First, let's show off our new carpet. Sure we had to drive way across town to get it, but we got a killer deal on this finished remnant. It also shows Nora before....

And here's Nora after.

I think it was quite a shock.

And really, she hated it.

I never knew that I actually wanted Nora to stay a baby, but today, she rolled over. And, it broke my heart.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

As requested

Chantel requested more pictures of Nora. I'm always happy to comply. Ok, I'll admit, her outfit is a little odd, and with good reason. Last night, I had a dream that I had a migraine. I woke up, to find that I actually did have a migraine. My wonderful husband knows the drill: pain meds, cold washcloth, keep the kids quiet, do not disturb on threat of death or dismemberment. So, he got up with the girls, changed diapers, fed Lillian breakfast, made beds, and got them dressed. I like that guy, even if he picks out slightly mismatched things for the kids to wear.

And, I love these chunky legs; I just want to eat them.

Here she is, mesmerized by the camera. When Lillian was born, I thought she looked very much like a Ball. Nora, I think, has much more Calder in her. I mean, look at those eyebrows. They're actually my sister Amy's, I stole them and put them on my baby. Also, notice the burp cloth under her head. See yesterday's post.

Lillian is distressed by the fact that Nora has no neck. I told her it will grow in later.

Lillian was not to be left out of our photo shoot. She's trying to show off her nails. Somehow, it's not working.

There we go.

I hate this toy. Mr. The King is very loud and makes racing noises at the slightest provocation. Somehow, he snuck into the diaper bag last Sunday, so at the every jiggle, the bag would yell, "Out of the way!"

My girl though, she's cute.

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